Canadian Manufacturing

Driving the future of electric vehicles through standards

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—Sponsored article by CSA Group

Electricity is playing a major role in transforming the auto industry. But beyond the popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) among consumers, EVs are also beginning to help meet global climate change goals through integration with renewable energy and smart grid systems.

With these seemingly infinite opportunities, manufacturers of vehicles and charging equipment are trying to quickly produce and launch their products in the global market. The challenge, however, is developing and harmonizing standards for these emerging technologies to protect public safety, all while facilitating commerce and trade in this rapidly evolving industry.

A new whitepaper by CSA Group sheds light on the current state of the EV market, the work underway by some of the world’s leading standards development organizations (SDO), and what manufacturers can do to navigate the complex regulatory environment.

EVs: a three-part system

  1. Electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) or “chargers”

    As homes are still the most popular locations to charge EVs, it is critical that EVSE products carry the appropriate certification marks. Standards already exist for home EVSE, many of which have been harmonized across North America. Charging stations in industrial or public locations will be subject to certification requirements in local codes that typically adopt the Canadian Electrical Code or the National Electrical Code for stations located in the United States. As EVSE also facilitates communications with the grid, reference documents are being developed by SAE International to guide communication requirements between EVSE and the home area network or smart meter.

  2. Plugs

    Several different geometries for plugs exist in the market, posing significant challenges for worldwide adoption and adding infrastructure costs. Potential safety issues also arise when, for instance, customers try to convert a charger to a different plug. Global standards can help industry and government to successfully address these economic and safety issues.

  3. Battery

    The pressure for reduced charging time and increased range are pushing battery pack design to performance limits. Fortunately, a wide array of standards and reference documents are helping to alleviate these pressures. One key standard is the IEC 62660 Series for lithium-ion batteries. Two parts of this standard, performance and reliability/abuse testing, have been adopted by CSA Group. SDOs are also actively researching how batteries can be more safely used in new commercial vehicles, refurbished petroleum-powered buses, and stationary energy storage systems.

Get involved in standards development

As emerging technologies typically evolve before standards are published, it is critical that product designers offer their input early in the process through national technical committees. These committees work closely with national SDOs, such as CSA Group, in developing standards that ultimately inform a country’s “vote” for the International Electrotechnical Commission’s (IEC) process. When

adopting IEC standards into North America, the draft standards are published for feedback, offering stakeholders another opportunity to provide valuable input before standards are finalized.

Once standards are in place, manufacturers should continue to work closely with trusted SDOs and certifying bodies to obtain the right certification marks. With experience in the field of EV technology, CSA Group can offer guidance and certification services to help get your product to market as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Learn more

Contact CSA Group today to learn more about EV standards and certification.

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